13.04.09 Krasnoperekopsk, Crimea
Well I decided to stay in Odessa for a day and half. Sunday to relax, and then Monday to get some work done, both on the bike and in terms of personal admin following Saturdays problems.
I am at an internet cafe which allows no uploads … so its just going to be text today. Pics to follow
The evening was spent at a barbecue held by the bike club that was my security blanket in Odessa, the Motor-Life guys. Great shashlik (meat coooked on a skewer) and will have some mouth watering pics uploaded shortly. One of the guys, an ex Soviet Spetsnaz (special forces) troop chap called Berkut (eagle) tattooed the Sibirsky Extreme bike with a scull. The president of the club, German, gave me some great toasts and introduced me to the clubs mechanic, Viktor, who was more than happy to sort out a few niggling items I had with the bike first thing on Monday. Another guy there had helped host Simon and Monika Newbound when they stopped in Odessa for a month about 3 years back. Cant remember their webside off the top of my head, but they rode a pair of BMWs round the world. [edited ... just found it ... http://www.spiritsofadventure.com/]
So Monday morning I wake up feeling quite chipper again. Good food and good friends puts everything into perspective. I said goodbye to Sasha, my host for the last two nights, as he dropped me off at German, the club presidents place early in the morning. German and I took the bike straight to Viktor who began working to remake in steel a broken plastic part from one of my panniers. Meanwhile Viktor’s electrical assistant Sasha went to work trying to find the occasionally shorting wires that was doing my fusebox in.
German and I went back to the centre of town to sort out my paperwork. First to DHL as I needed to send some docs to Moscow for a business deal I am working on. Second to a bank with western union counter to collect my emergency wired funds. And thirdly to a bank I almost forgot I had an account with. About 5 years ago I thought about buying a property in Ukraine just after the Orange Revolution and set up an account here and wired funds to it. As it happens I am still on the system and I will pick up a new card and pin number a few days down the line. So have funds and have a card within a few days… things are looking up.
Back to the bike, and all is fixed !!! Sasha found the shorting wires … some pinched wires around the touratech rallye front end I had installed. Viktor had mended my pannier. Everything was sorted. I was a happy camper for the first time in 48 hours.
Viktor and Sasha refused to take payment for their several hours work. German refused to take back the money his guys had lent me impromptu on the street on Saturday evening. It was an embarrassing way to leave for me, but I didnt want to force the issue. I said goodbye to the guys who had restored my faith in many things and hit the road about 2:30pm. Had a funny scene when I stopped to photograph a wedding party and they all started to pose for me, including the hideous bridesmaid!
Riding till just before sundown when I passed the town of Armyansk in the Republic of Crimea, an autonomous Russian zone within Ukraine. The next town had a hotel with a small single room for 140 UAH (14 EUR), so I took it.
I am about to get kicked out of the internet cafe, so back to the hotel for some dinner for me. But its all systems go again from this end. Bike will get a service over the next few days in Yalta, and i have to wait 4-5 days to collect my new debit card. Should be a relaxed 4-5 days in Crimea.
So its goodnight from me …. (and its good night from him)